Indianapolis Business Journal

APRIL 16-22, 2021

After Indiana University fired men’s basketball coach Archie Miller in March, the athletic department needed more than a savvy basketball mind with a high-profile name. IBJ’s Anthony Schoettle explains how the triad of head coach Mike Woodson and wingmen Dane Fife and Thad Matta could help revive the alumni passion and donations that dried up after the firing of Bob Knight. Also in this issue, Kurt Christian explains how a series of actions taken by the Republican-majority Carmel City Council is raising questions about whether members are becoming more skeptical of Mayor Jim Brainard’s vision for the city and subsequent spending. And Greg Andrews reveals that the two highest-paid executives at Strada Education Network have departed the powerful education not-for-profit in recent months—an indication that the Indianapolis-based organization is rethinking aspects of its strategy after four years of operation.

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APRIL 9-15, 2021

The state of Indiana has an estimated $3 billion in federal funding coming its way, with few restrictions on how to spend it. IBJ’s Lindsey Erdody took a look at three of the state’s longtime—but neglected—priorities to gauge the impact of a $3 billion windfall. Also in this week’s issue, Susan Orr explores how adult entertainers in Indiana are trying to get to the bottom of a legal question that affects many Hoosiers: When is an independent contractor really an employee, covered by minimum wage and overtime laws. And Kurt Christian reports that the president of the Westfield City Council is now questioning whether to move forward with a $15 million project to widen State Road 32 that’s been in the works for more than a decade.

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APRIL 2-8, 2021

More than 1 million Hoosiers have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, with another 1.6 million on their way with the first dose. John Russell explores how the rollout in Indiana compares with those in other states—both in terms of approach and percentage of people inoculated. Also in this week’s issue, Mickey Shuey looks past March Madness to see what’s on the books for downtown’s hotels as they try to capitalize on the momentum from the tournament. And Greg Andrews has the inside story on the epic legal brawl between the partners who opened Pier 48 Fish House & Oyster Bar in the Hyatt Place hotel.

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MARCH 26-APRIL 1, 2021

March Madness is taking on a whole new meaning for athletes, coaches and support staff, who are largely sequestered for the duration of the tournament in Indianapolis. John Russell and Mickey Shuey explore the mental health repercussions of living in a high-pressure bubble and how officials are helping participants cope. Also in this week’s issue, Lindsey Erdody details how state legislators could help bars and restaurants by allowing them to offer more, and richer, games of chance. And Susan Orr explains how beer breweries pivoted during the pandemic when sales to bars and restaurants went flat: embracing cans.

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MARCH 19-25, 2021

Between the pandemic, road construction and downtown safety concerns, the Indianapolis City Market has been dealing with a heavy load of challenges over the past year, and there’s no consensus on its recovery prospects. Susan Orr asks the market's new executive director about the strategy to stabilize and strengthen the institution. Also in this week's issue, John Russell reports that Indiana has become one of the latest battlegrounds between hospitals and health insurers over the cost of specialty drugs to treat serious diseases. And Greg Andrews has the inside story on how Indianapolis was able to land the NCAA's headquarters in the late 1990s, forging a relationship that led to the decision this year to stage all of March Madness in central Indiana.

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MARCH 12-18, 2021

Gov. Eric Holcomb isn’t having much luck getting what he wants from the General Assembly this year, even though both chambers are dominated by his Republican Party. Lindsey Erdody explores why he isn’t able to strong-arm lawmakers—and why they’re able to shrug off his priorities. Meanwhile, Indianapolis is gearing up to host March Madness in a coup for the city that could pay huge benefits for years to come. In addition to this issue's featured stories about the skyrocketing value of the tournament’s media rights deal and how local restaurants hope to capitalize on the event, you can check out a special section devoted to the ins-and-outs of this undertaking, the key leaders behind the effort, and what could happen next for the city.

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MARCH 5-11, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic swept into Indiana a year ago and upended our lives in ways that affected our health, freedom of movement and financial security. The latest issue of IBJ collects the first-hand stories of 11 Hoosiers who have struggled to come to grips with fear, change and loss during the crisis and now are charting a way forward. Also in this week’s issue, Mickey Shuey explains why March Madness won’t be a boon to the city in terms of corporate entertaining. And Kurt Christian details the plans for a youth-sports project in Whitestown that could lead to a network of similar developments across the Midwest.

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FEB. 26-MARCH 4, 2021

What if Indianapolis hosted all of March Madness and nobody came? Well, that’s not likely, given that 68 teams will play and the venues have been approved to fill up to 25% of their seats. But local officials want to be conservative about predicting the economic impact—almost certainly to be in the nine figures—due to the unprecedented conditions behind this first-ever hosting effort, Mickey Shuey reports. Likewise, downtown restaurateurs are over the moon about serving an influx of diners, but they’re trying to keep their expectations earthbound, Susan Orr reports. Meanwhile, Indiana legislators are pleasantly surprised they’ve reached the halfway point in their latest session without a major COVID-related disruption, but their precautions haven’t prevented debate and drama. Lindsey Erdody brings us up to speed on the biggest issues, flashpoints and bills of the General Assembly’s session so far.

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FEB. 19-25, 2021

Dozens of clients of the Carmel-based investment firm Indie Asset Partners are concerned they’re at risk of losing a big chunk of the tens of millions of dollars that went into a New York hedge fund as part of what was supposed to be a risk-diversification strategy. Greg Andrews explains what went wrong. Also in this week’s issue, Susan Orr delves into a report from the Brookings Institution that finds entrepreneurship is sluggish in Indiana and that, as a result, the state is not as well-positioned as it might be to rebound from economic downturns. And Anthony Schoettle reports that media coverage of Indianapolis’ stint hosting all of March Madness could bring an enormous payoff for the city, state and the venues hosting the lion’s share of the games.

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FEB. 12-18, 2021

The law firm Taft Stettinius & Hollister is making a big push into public affairs and lobbying in both Indianapolis and Washington, D.C., and has nabbed seven attorneys and non-lawyer professionals—including several big names in Indiana politics—from rival firm Ice Miller to do it. Marilyn Odendahl has the story behind the moves. Also in this week’s paper, John Russell explains how a Los Angeles maker of medical equipment has quietly picked up stakes, moved to Indianapolis and become the city’s latest public company. And Greg Andrews recounts the recent run-up in shares of Eli Lilly and Co. and details the several ways this new wealth benefits central Indiana.

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FEB. 5-11, 2021

After three decades chasing an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease but with little to show for it, Eli Lilly and Co. has announced a potential breakthrough with a drug that slowed mental decline in patients in a small trial. John Russell examines Lilly’s past failures and why the new drug offers hope. Also in this week’s issue, Mickey Shuey reports on the efforts of a wide ranging task force of local groups to clean up downtown, spark public art projects and otherwise beautify the city in time the for intense media glare of March Madness. And Susan Orr reports on the explosive growth of Peterman Cooling Heating and Plumbing, aided by its development of an innovative academy for technician training.

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JAN. 29-FEB. 4, 2021

Downtown hoteliers say they’re confident they'll be well-staffed and ready to go in six weeks when March Madness comes to town, bringing a sudden influx of thousands of guests to a market that has been operating well below normal levels since the pandemic began. IBJ’s Mickey Shuey sheds light on the needs hoteliers are trying to anticipate as they gear up for the rush. Also in this week’s paper, Greg Andrews unpacks the ramifications of a settlement that will cost Indianapolis-based health insurer Anthem nearly $600 million. Despite the jaw-dropping price tag, the deal is viewed by some investment analysts as a huge win for the company. And Lindsey Erdody reports on legislative efforts to establish workplace accommodations for pregnant women in Indiana, one of about 20 states that doesn’t have them on the books.

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JAN. 22-28, 2021

The number of public announced philanthropic gifts of $1 million or more from individuals to Indiana organizations plummeted in 2020, along with the total value of the big donations. Lindsey Erdody explores potential reasons for the shortfall—some of which suggest that big donors are using other avenues to gift their riches. Also in this week’s paper, John Russell pieces together the story of Ossium Health, a secretive Indianapolis-based biotech startup that reportedly raised an eye-popping $60.9 million in funding last fall. And Greg Andrews explains how a nontraditional way of taking companies public is making bucketsful of money for some Indianapolis businesspeople engineering the deals.

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JAN. 15-21, 2021

Downtown apartment managers are extending rent specials, reducing parking costs and offering other incentives to get tenants in the door—and lock in current residents—as they try to stave off a pandemic-related slowdown. Mickey Shuey charts the decline in rent prices downtown—and their continued rise elsewhere in the Indy area. Also in this week’s issue, John Russell explores the rush to vaccinate Hoosiers for COVID-19 as quickly as possible, after federal officials gave states the green light to dramatically expand the pool of people eligible. And Samm Quinn details the progress of the Indianapolis International Airport’s retail refresh effort, which is off to a slower start than anticipated due to the pandemic.

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JAN. 8-14, 2021

The push to stage all of March Madness in the Indy area will be a herculean effort involving city and state officials, tourism and civic leaders, national broadcasters and likely thousands of volunteers. Mickey Shuey has the highlights and fine details from the still-evolving to-do list on the (likely) giant whiteboard at the effort’s headquarters. Also in this week’s issue, John Russell examines the lukewarm reception for Eli Lilly and Co.’s revolutionary antibody treatment for COVID-19. And Kurt Christian outlines the aggressive plans of Culver’s super-franchisee Jeff Meyer of Noblesville as he stakes out his new company headquarters and readies for 10 more locations.

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JAN. 1-7, 2021

License plate reading technology is becoming more common in subdivisions concerned about curbing crime, but some civil liberties experts have questions about whether they invade the privacy of people affected by them. Also, Martinsville is preparing for a big increase in traffic coming into its downtown as vehicles detour around an Interstate 69 construction-related closure. Plus, read what residents near Indiana Avenue are saying about future development near the Madam Walker Legacy Center.

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DEC. 25-31, 2020

The year was barely two months old when things went topsy-turvy. A microscopic virus hit the economy like a freight train, and public health concerns disrupted nearly every element of our lives. And that was just the beginning of a year rife with social crises and political reckonings. IBJ’s “2020 Year in Review” package provides a recap of how central Indiana was affected. Also in this week’s issue, Susan Orr delves into the Indy Chamber’s $6.1 million effort to elevate central Indiana’s reputation and persuade people to move here. And Greg Weaver details the backlash against solar farms in Indiana’s rural communities.

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DEC. 18-24, 2020

Businesses, not-for-profits, schools, religious organizations and other entities soon could be shielded from lawsuits related to COVID-19 infections. Lindsey Erdody reports that Gov. Eric Holcomb and state lawmakers are making a legal shield a priority in the upcoming legislative session, although opponents characterize it as a get-out-of-jail-free card for bad actors. Also in this week’s issue, Anthony Schoettle delves into a rare problem for Indiana University’s football program: trying to hold onto a head coach hotly pursued by other universities. Can IU keep the wolves from snapping up Tom Allen? And Samm Quinn explains how local hotels plan to help house the homeless this winter as shelters observe strict rules about occupancy during the pandemic.

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